One of You Go Under the Mould of This Island to Consecrate It

Postcard depicting the ruins of the mediæval abbey on Iona.

Now when Colombcille had made round of all Ireland, and when he had sown faith and belief, and when numerous hosts and been baptized by him, and when he had founded churches and holy dwellings, when he left elders and reliquaries and relics therein, the determination which he had resolved on from the beginning of his life came to his mind, namely, to go into pilgrimage. He then minded to go over sea to preach God’s word to Highlanders and to Britons and Saxons.

So he fared forth on expedition. Forty-two years was his age went he went. Thirty-four he lived in Scotland. Seventy-seven was his full age. And the number that went (with him) was twenty bishops, forty priests, thirty deacons, fifty students; ut dixit—

  1. Forty priests was their number,
    Twenty bishops, a noble strength!
    For the psalmody without work.
    Thirty deacons, fifty boys.

He fared then in happy mood till he came to the stead which to-day is named Hii of Colombcille. On the night of Pentecost he reached it. Two bishops who were biding in the island came to cast him out of it. But God revealed to Colombcille that in truth they were not bishops, whereupon they left the island to him when he told of them their story and what they ought to perform.

Then said Colombcille to his household, ‘It is well for us that our roots should go under earth here;’ and he said to them, ‘It is permitted to you that some one of you go under the mould of this island to consecrate it.’ Odran rose up readily, and this he said: ‘If thou wouldst accept me,’ saith he ‘I am ready for that.’ ‘O Odran’ saith Colombcille ‘thereof shalt thou have the reward, namely, to none shall his request be granted at my grave, unless he shall seek it first of thee.’ Odran then fared to heaven.

Colomb then founded the church of Hii. Thrice fifty monks had he therein for contemplation and sixty for active life, as said (the poet)—

  1. Wondrous the warriors who abode in Hii,
    Thrice fifty in monastic rule,
    With their boats along the sea,
    Three score men a-rowing.

When Colombcille had founded Hii, he fared on his preaching throughout Scotland and Britons and Saxons; and he brought them to faith and belief after many miracles had been wrought by him, after bringing the dead to life out of death.

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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